Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Race Preview - Maple Grove Olympic Triathlon

This will be my second Olympic distance triathlon, and the last triathlon of the season for me. I'm not quite sure what to make of this race, it's longer than the sprints I usually do, and my training has fallen off for a variety of reasons, including having a new baby last week. On the other hand I just had a personal best in the last race I did, and I have been having a great summer overall for training.

Race Info
The race in in Maple Grove, it's about an hour north of where we live. So I'll be trucking it up there the morning of. I'm sure it will remind me of the tris of last year in FL where we always seemed to be getting up in the middle of the night :)

The swim is a little backwards triangle - the odd thing about this triangle though is that it's "backwards" from right to left. So instead of doing right turns we'll be doing left turns. I don't think it matters, but maybe. I'm sure this race will be wetsuit legal in the eyes of USAT, but I will be forgoing the wetsuit. Since I don't own one it's seems almost like an extension of race fees to rent one. We'll see how I do over 1500m without the aid of the suit :)

The bike is a 26 mile sort of figure eight. It's not really a figure eight, because you don't ever cross the path of other riders in the sense that a figure eight would cause. But the course does go through the same intersection twice on opposite corners. While I haven't actually seen the course, I did plop it into Google Earth and did a pretty junky flyover, and take a peek at the elevation profile. The course looks pretty flat with not too many turns.

The run is two loops, sort of. The first loop is the sprint loop, and the second loop is almost the same course with a little jaunt in a different direction for a bit.

Course Map Note-

Picture of the course


So here's the deal - I find these two things ridiculous. Because this isn't my first rodeo I know the picture is suggesting that there are two courses in one picture, and because one overlaps the other, but only for part of it, and that piece seems to come after the start, I can assume there are two laps. But what's really confusing is when I try to put the words with the picture. Seriously, what is the deal with 8, A, B, C, 5? Hopefully the course is better marked, I'm sure it will be.

Swim .9 miles28:451:40 per 100 yards
Bike 26 miles1:22:0019 miles/hour
Run 6.2 miles54:308:45 mins/mile

Last year was the first year for this event, and while I've looked at the results, it's hard to gauge how well I'd have done in that event since the times vary drastically from what I normally see. So I'm not going to try to figure out ahead of time how well these times might fare against the competition.

1:40 is ten seconds slower than the goal from the last race which I pretty much hit. The difference is that I'm swimming three times further. That time is also five full minutes slower than my first Olympic race, but that was with a wetsuit. I guess some of it is that when I got in the pool last the yards just didn't melt away like I wanted them too, so I'm a little worried about stamina.

I put the bike pace at 19, I'm pretty sure that's doable for me and still have some steam left for the run. I actually really want to make it slower, but since I did so well in the last race I'll say that I can hold 19.

For the run, I'm actually feeling pretty good going into the race. The last couple of runs have been pretty good for me, and assuming I don't have any problems with cramps I should be able to pull this one off. I now know that I can usually go harder than my brain says during the race I should be able to push to this if I start to fall off pace.

I put another 4 minutes of transition in there, that's probably pretty realistic. We'll see, I'm going to try to focus a little more on the transition than the last few races. I'm not going to say I'm going to get down to two minutes, but hopefully it's not much more than 3.

Closing Comments
It's the last race of the year, and the second Olympic. I'm hoping to hit it pretty hard, and go out with a bang. After this race I'm taking a bunch of time off. After basically 17 months of 4-6 a day workouts I'm ready for a break.

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